Former Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald says “fumbled” contract negotiations with Bellator led to him joining the PFL.
MacDonald, a pioneer of Canadian MMA and a former title challenger in the UFC, was last seen competing in the Bellator cage, dropping his welterweight crown to Douglas Lima in the pair’s rematch back in October 2019. Following that fight, MacDonald became a free agent and would find himself inking pen to paper with PFL. At the time, it was arguably the biggest signing in PFL history, and many fans were surprised that Bellator let him go. Nevertheless, “The Red King” signed with PFL, and after 2020 wiped out by COVID-19, his organizational debut has finally arrived. MacDonald makes his next walk to the cage on April 29 when he takes on David Michaud at PFL 2.
Speaking to Insider.com, MacDonald explained how he ended up in PFL. In the interview, MacDonald blasted Bellator and said the promotion was very “unorganized” when it came to dealing with a new contract for him.
“We were trying to get a deal done with Bellator before the Lima fight because that was going to be the last bout on my contract. And it just kept getting put on the back-burner,” MacDonald said. “They had interest but it just felt like Bellator had so many other things, were unorganized, and never got round to finalizing the deal between me and then. The fight (with Lima) happened, we had some more time to figure it all out. But then I was a free agent so I was able to negotiate because they just kind of fumbled their chance to re-sign me. I went for the best offer and that was with the PFL.”
It will be interesting to see if Bellator president Scott Coker responds to these comments from MacDonald, who also admitted in the interview that he had “one foot out of the sport” in his last couple of fights in Bellator. The Canadian was candid in saying that his poor performances against Lima, Gegard Mousasi and Jon Fitch led to him questioning his desire to compete, but he believes the time off was good for him and he is excited to fight for PFL.
“Near the end of my time at Bellator, I felt like I had one foot in and one foot out of the sport, and my last couple of performances showed that, unfortunately. Thank God I’m driven again to achieve the best possible case scenario for me and my career, and I’m looking forward to reclaiming my spot as the best in the sport,” MacDonald said.
Do you think Rory MacDonald has what it takes to win the PFL welterweight tournament and the $1 million grand prize?